Carl Hooker - Tech Learning

Carl Hooker

This Texas district is all about iPads, flipped PD, and augmented reality.
Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Name: Carl Hooker

Title: Director of Instructional Technology

District: Eanes ISD, TX

What are your big-picture tech goals?

Individualized and personalized learning for every student. This could be through a variety of different tools and devices, but access to technology for every student is the key.

What changes are you taking to achieve these goals?

Finding and funding devices (iPads, in our case) to put in the hands of every student as well as supporting teaching and learning styles so we can optimally utilize these new tools to enhance learning.

What are the biggest challenges in your day-to-day life and how do you manage them?

Time, and lack of it. I recently heard a phrase that I like called "time famine". We are all starving for time. While technology can let me do things faster and access people more quickly, it also consumes more and more of my time. I’m still working on effective ways to manage my time, but having an iPhone or iPad in hand allows me to answer a lot of the little questions over email while on the go and even at home. It does seem like I’m connected to my job 24/7, but spending 15 minutes at home to answer some email after the kids go to sleep will buy me double that time when I get “back to work” physically.

How do you get buy in on ed tech from the school community?

I do this in a couple of ways. I find key teacher leaders on campuses that I trust and are willing to take risks to try new things. I ask them to try some new ed tech items and report back to me but also share with their staff what they discover. If it doesn’t work, then it’s not worth it. However, if I can show that whatever the tool is does work, will make learning more enjoyable and engaging for students and save teachers time in the process, then I’ve got a good chance to make it stick. Any change is hard and takes some level of work. They have to know that it’s worth their time and effort in the long run.

What currently has you really excited?

I’m a big fan of augmented reality and I’m looking at ways to include that more in instruction. I’m also trying to mimic the trends of flip teaching with our professional development. I’m working with the University of Texas to develop a “flipped PD” module where teachers learn the tools and skills online and then meet in person to discuss actual use and integration in the classroom. The iPads in the hands of kids also really excites me because they are showing us different ways to learn. Now that to me is truly exciting.

Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title

Featured

Related

Image placeholder title

Leader of the Year: Carl Hooker

In the last six months, Carl Hooker deliveredhis first keynote presentation (at Tech &Learning’s Atlanta Tech Forum), organized ayouth film festival, wrote several blogs aboutthe zombification of our society, plannedthe third iPadpalooza, helped overturn astate decision to ban tablets from state testing,and taught an iTunesU course called DigitalParenting 101 with community parents.